Thinking about the things that make you happy will make you happy. It’s true. Every once in awhile it is good to take an assessment of what makes you happy. Just thinking about it will make you smile. Seeing a list reminds you of what a wonderful, interesting, beautiful and compassionate person you are and it will remind you that you have the ability to see joy and wonder in the world.

Personally, I have a tendency to look at the glass as half empty instead of half full. It is hard for me to say kind things to myself. It is hard for me to appreciate the good things in the world. I’ve been working on this a lot lately. I want to improve myself. I want to be the kind of person who sees the good things before picking out all of the bad things. I was so happy when I got an email from Jeanne at Simple Math Bakery. She gave me the Happy 101 award (above). Jeanne and I found each other on YeastSpotting a few weeks ago and I’ve really enjoyed reading her blog, she cooks and bakes the kind of things I like to cook and bake. Now I know that she’s been reading my blog too and that makes me very happy, indeed! What made me even more happy about this award is the opportunity to share the things I love with all of you.

1. The backyard bunny: I used to own a pet bunny and he was one of my favorite pets. He was great to snuggle with and all I had to do if I was sad was to watch his antics and I would instantly become happy. I miss my bunny. A few months ago a wild bunny adopted our yard. Whenever one of us see’s him, we yell “Bunny siting!!”. He is shy and once he sees us he runs away, but he makes me so happy just to see him bouncing around the yard.

2. Observing wildlife: I get such a thrill from seeing animals in the wild. It can be something as simple as seeing birds playing or as exotic as seals in the ocean. Last week we were walking by a lake and we saw a dozen photographers staring at a spot near the shore. Nothing was there. On our way back, we saw what they were waiting for, a pair of Bobcats! They were strolling by like nobody was watching them. I got such a thrill from seeing them so close and wished I brought my camera.

                                          Photo courtesy of 123rf.com

3. Dogs and Cats: I don’t own any, but just seeing a dog makes me so happy. Dogs are almost always happy and it is contagious. Cats aren’t necessarily always happy, but they are so cool that I get great joy just from observing them, I get greater joy when they are friendly and let me pet them.

4. Lost: My favorite show is coming back in a couple of weeks for it’s last season. We are watching the first five seasons in anticipation of the finale. I am having so much fun!

5. Strange plants: I love plants. The stranger the plant the better. I have collected ugly and strange orchids. Some are beautiful in their other worldly oddness. I love succulents and cacti. I created a fish tank that was choked full of odd plants, making it difficult to keep fish.

6. Walking: My favorite form of exercise. It exercises the mind as well as the body. I love that my body can take me places. I love that I can walk for hours on end. I’d rather hike up a hill than do any other form of exercise.

7. The ocean: I’ve lived by the coast most of my life and the ocean never ceases to amaze me. I love to stare at it. I love to swim in it. I love to snorkel under it. I love to travel up the coast and see how it changes. I love to travel to other parts of the ocean to see it from other perspectives. It is a thing of beauty.

8. Exploring museums and historic sites: I love to visit museums that were once people’s homes like the Casa del Herrero or Lotusland or Hearst Castle or The Huntington Gardens. Not only is it a great experience but I love to imagine what it was like to live in another era.

9. Baking: I love to cook, but even more, I love to bake. The aromas that fill the house when something is baked are precious. The taste and texture of fresh baked goods are wonderful. The sense of accomplishment… to say I made that and see the look of appreciation when I can share the food with someone. It makes me more than happy!

10. Blogging: This is my big creative outlet. I feel like an artist when I contribute to my blog. I am a writer and nobody can criticize my writing and tell me that I am not worthy of being published. I am a photographer. I am a designer. I am a chef. I am a baker. I am confident. I am also incognito. Most of you don’t really know who I am so I can say whatever I like. All of these things make me incredibly happy. The fact that there are people out there who actually enjoy reading my blog, well… that makes me even happier. The friendship and positive feedback are wonderful and I love having people come and spend their time with me. It makes me feel loved. Thank you.

This award is meant to be shared with other Bloggers who make you happy. I’m not big on Memes and chain letters so I just want to say that the people listed below are under no obligation to play this game. I hope you’ll display the award in your sidebars because you deserve it, I go to your blogs weekly if not daily and your posts always make me happy.

If you do want to pass the award on:

List 10 things that make you happy (remember, it is good for your soul). List 10 Bloggers who brighten your day and link to them. Link back to the original person who gave you the award.

These are the Bloggers who brighten my day. Visit their sites to see why they make me so happy:

1. Nick at Macheesmo: I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, reading his blog is like visting with a friend. He cooks and writes every day!

2. Carolyn at the 1940’s Experiment: The adventures of a woman who is losing weight by eating 1940’s rations. If the concept weren’t interesting enough, I go there just to smile at Carolyn’s lovely sense of humor.

3. Ronnie at Racoon and Lobster: Golden Retriever’s balancing things on their heads. Day trips to exotic local digs. Shoes. Oh yeah… and cooking.

4. John at The lost world of DrFugawe: Interesting factoids, recipes from vintage cookbooks and plenty of baking, fermenting, gardening and canning.

5. Andreas at Delta Kitchen: How can I not love a man who bakes bread with seaweed in it?

6. Cookiecrumb at I’m mad and I eat: One of the first blogs I ever read. No recipes but I am always enthralled by what she eats and cooks. She also has a super cute dog.

7. Natashya at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies: Such a gorgeous blog. Such mouth-watering food. All from a wonderful person with a terrific writing voice.

8. Garrett at Vanilla Garlic: I just love to read his writing. He cooks wonderful things and they always get chewed on by the Eat Beast.

9. Dylan at Sourdough Monkey Wrangler: You gotta love a guy who can turn anything into alcoholic beverages or bread.

10. Susan at Wild Yeast: Baker extraordinaire and Hostess of YeastSpotting. There is always something on her blog to inspire me to keep baking.